CMS focus on reducing administrative burden
In a letter this week to doctors, CMS Administrator Seema Verma thanked them for the difference they make in their patients’ lives, and acknowledged increasing burnout rates, with burdensome and inefficient administrative requirements a contributing factor. She reiterated the agency’s commitment to putting the patient first and to streamlining administrative requirements as part of the Patients Over Paperwork initiative, and announced a proposed overhaul of the Evaluation & Management (E/M) documentation and coding system aimed at reducing EHR documentation burdens.
She further reinforced this commitment to streamlining health IT in a post on The CMS Blog.
CMS proposed rule for 2019: new Virtual Care Codes
Also this week, CMS issued proposed changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for CY 2019, including a new set of virtual care codes that acknowledge the increased range of communication technologies used by health care professionals today. Healthcare Law Today provides an excellent summary and insight on the proposed codes in their article “Medicare’s New Virtual Care Codes: A Monumental Change and Validation of Asynchronous Telemedicine”.
CMS is seeking comments on the proposed rule until September 10, 2018.